Slavish Devotion to Political Correctness

With the proviso that I don't know anything about the people involved, I will say this controversy seems to be about nothing. 

Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele accused a leading Democratic
congressman yesterday of racial insensitivity for saying the Republican
candidate has "slavishly" followed the GOP.

Steele, an African
American running for the U.S. Senate, was reacting to remarks by House
Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, who characterized Steele this week as
having had "a career of slavishly supporting the Republican Party."

To say someone is "slavishly following" or showing "slavish devotion" is so common that I think you have to give the benefit of the doubt that the intention was not racial.  Here are some Google searches:

This is perhaps the dumbest fake-racial-gaffe since the kerfuffle in Washington about the word "niggardly" or the airline passenger lawsuit against saying "eenie meenie minie moe."  I could not find even one article in a quick scan that seemed to have any racial context -- these are merely very common phrases used in political discourse because they imply someone is somehow an unthinking tool of some organization rather than a person who thinks for himself.

By the way, it's illuminating to see the Republicans play the race / political correctness card in the
heat of political battle just as fast as the Democrats would.  Which, ironically, seems to be just as fast as Democrats are willing to play the "Don't vote for the gay guy" card, which is usually thought of as a Republican political tool.  Can anyone still believe that there is any real difference between the two parties?


  1. Craig:

    I don't think for one moment that a Republican who made the "slavish" comment would not be publicly tarred, feathered, and crucified by the media. It's the selective outrage of the media over "offensive" words that is the issue here.

  2. Anna:

    Read Michelle Malkin's post here Apparently, Hoyer used it in a comedy routine in front of mostly black business owners. I guess her (Malkin's) argument is that the line can only be "funny" because of its racist implications.

    Personally, I'm tired of all the politically correct bullshit. And I'm tired of hearing the words "offended" and "offensive." If they can't take it or dish it out, they have no business being in the public arena. I'd like to see more of the likes of Churchill who never ran home crying because people said nasty things about him. He just traded insults with even better insults.

  3. Denny:

    I don't trust Democrats so I really don't believe that this term was used innocently by Hoyer. I am sick of political correctness gone awry, but in this case I think that Hoyer, knowing that racial comments have already been used against Steel, may have intended it with racial undertones against him. Remember that Democrats really do think that black Americans are traitors and "uncle Toms" if they aren't slaves to the Democrat Party Machine. By the way, I have a post at my blog about Democrat racism.

  4. markm:

    The word has been in the English language since about 1550, which is before many English colonists were using slave labor from Africa. The first English speakers to use it weren't thinking about race, they were thinking about enslaved Europeans who often came to be both obedient and imitative of their masters.

    But that's not the important point. Think about what someone who screams "racism" at hearing such a word must believe: that it's impossible to talk to or about a black person without the foremost thought in your mind being their color. Who is racist, here.

  5. supermike:

    If anyone has a right to be pissed about the term "slavish" it's the actual slavic peoples, from whom the very term "slave" originates, and you don't hear them bitching about it. I suspect some of them might have an issue with the french over "ragusade" as well.